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Meteorite Men Alpha Field Pallasite

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#1 Ira

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

I just finished watching the pilot episode of Meteorite Men. What fun! I was wondering if the unusual Pallasite discovered in their Alpha field has ever been classified or appeared on the market? This was the one with the unusual intact olivine crystals.

As an aside, I was very pleased to note that I own a piece of all of the other meteorites shown in the pilot: Brenham, Allende, and Murchison! How cuhl is that!!

/Ira

#2 Glassthrower

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:27 AM

The so-called Alpha pallasite is an old find called "Admire". The "alpha" moniker was a marketing gimmick, more or less. They went back to the old Admire strewnfield and found some additional masses. I would also guess that by obfuscating the find location and identity, they bought themselves additional time to hunt the area alone before other hunters moved in. They knew it was Admire when they found it.

At one time, Admire was rarely seen and not well regarded because of it's questionable stability. Now, a flood of Admire has hit the market in the recent years. Thanks to a combination of improved processing techniques that have resulted in better stability, and clever marketing, Admire has become a popular collector pallasite. Quite the turnaround for a meteorite once known as a museum ruster. :)

Admire Met Bulletin entry - http://www.lpi.usra....ll.php?code=380


From Grady's Catalog of Meteorites :

A mass of 12 to 15lb (5.4 to 6.8kg) was ploughed up in 1881, and other masses later.
Analysis of metal: 10.7 %Ni, 20.3 ppm.Ga, 39.2 ppm.Ge, 0.017 ppm.Ir, J.T. Wasson & S.P. Sedwick, 1969)
Mineralogy: olivine Fa 12.0^ , P.R. Buseck and J.I. Goldstein (1969).
10> Be, 26> Al abundances, H. Nagai et al. (1993).
Noble gas data compilation, L. Schultz & H. Kruse (1989); L. Schultz pers._ commun._ (1998).
Oxygen isotopic composition, R.N. Clayton & T.K. Mayeda (1978, 1996).



Best regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#3 Ed Fortier

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

I met Geoff Notkin at Spacefest in Tucson last June. He was a lot of fun to talk to and was selling slices of Admire encased in Lucite. Here's the piece I purchased.

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#4 peter scherff

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

Hi Ed,

That is a beautiful meteorite . Thanks for sharing it with us. Geoff is a great guy whose enthusiasm is contagious.

Peter

#5 MeteoriteMen

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

Dear Ira:

Thank you for watching Meteorite Men and I am pleased you enjoyed it. We used the name "Alpha" to protect both our ongoing work at the site and the privacy of the landowners. There are, unfortunately, a number of unethical people in our business who will poach and steal meteorites from private land.

As has been pointed out -- in an inexplicably snide manner -- by Mike Gilmer, Aplha was our code name for the Admire pallasite that was first discovered in 1881.

We filmed at Admire during all three seasons of Meteorite Men. In Season Two, we found a 223-lb Admire, which is currently on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere. We continue to work with the most unusual olivine crystals contained in Admire. They are unlike any others ever found, and have been acknowledged as a new gemstone by the Gemological Institute of America.

Thanks and best wishes!

Geoff of Meteorite Men
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#6 MeteoriteMen

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

Mike:

I know you're not new to the field of meteorites, so you are almost certainly aware of the theft, fraud, and poaching of meteorites that has gone on in recent years. The use of the Alpha name was, by no means, "a marketing gimmick." If that was the case, we never would have revealed the actual location. Rather, we were attempting to protect our ongoing work at the site, which ended up making significant contributions to science. We were also very concerned about protecting the privacy of the elderly landowners we were working with. Despite our best efforts, some poaching and interfering with existing land leases still went on. Would you also consider that lost data and revenue to be "a marketing gimmick"?

Geoff of Meteorite Men
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#7 MeteoriteMen

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

Thanks so much Ed!

We will be back for SpaceFestV Tucson. We'll plan on bringing in a few new meteorite surprises for the 2013 event. I hope to see you there!

Cheers and best wishes,

Geoff of Meteorite Men
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#8 MeteoriteMen

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:15 PM

Dear Ira:

I just now noticed that you live in Mitzpe Ramon! I visited way back in 1979. What an amazingly beautiful place. Really dark night skies : )

Is Meteorite Men on regular TV in Israel? If you have any details about the station we're showing on, please let me know, as I like to keep that info up to date on our Meteorite Men Facebook page

Thanks and best wishes!

Geoff of Meteorite Men
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#9 MeteoriteMen

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:17 PM

Thanks Peter! Same tooya : )

It was great to see you at Stellafane this summer and thank you for all your amazing efforts with the meteorite display! I hope to return in 2013. It was just tons of fun.

Cheers,

Geoff

#10 sealevel

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

:question: Wow! What a great start to a new meteorite year... What just happened? :question:

Davio R.

#11 lintonius

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:59 AM

I met Geoff Notkin at Spacefest in Tucson last June. He was a lot of fun to talk to and was selling slices of Admire encased in Lucite. Here's the piece I purchased.


Yeah Ed, those lucite-encased displays are really nice. I bought this Brenham version from Geoff on my first trip to the Tucson show, in 2009. I believe it was found during the pilot episode as well, though it doesn't specifically state that. At that point, they didn't know if the show would be picked up or not. I'm sure glad it was.
Linton

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#12 lintonius

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:06 AM

Yeah Ed, those lucite-encased displays are really nice. I bought this Brenham version from Geoff on my first trip to the Tucson show, in 2009. I believe it was found during the pilot episode as well, though it doesn't specifically state that. At that point, they didn't know if the show would be picked up or not. I'm sure glad it was.
Linton


I also found this unusually shaped Campo del Cielo in Geoff's display cases.
Linton

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#13 lintonius

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:16 AM


Yeah Ed, those lucite-encased displays are really nice. I bought this Brenham version from Geoff on my first trip to the Tucson show, in 2009. I believe it was found during the pilot episode as well, though it doesn't specifically state that. At that point, they didn't know if the show would be picked up or not. I'm sure glad it was.
Linton


I also found this unusually shaped Campo del Cielo in Geoff's display cases.
Linton


Geoff always has a lot of premium Sikhote Alin on hand - one of my all-around favorite falls - and I just had to bring home this beauty!
Linton

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#14 lintonius

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:26 AM



I also found this unusually shaped Campo del Cielo in Geoff's display cases.
Linton


Geoff always has a lot of premium Sikhote Alin on hand - one of my all-around favorite falls - and I just had to bring home this beauty!
Linton


Well, I can't leave Steve out of a Meteorite Men thread, so here's a nice big slice of Brenham, also found during the pilot episode.
Linton

Sorry... not the finest photo.

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#15 Glassthrower

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Now that I have inadvertently drawn the wrath of the Meteorite Men, let me clarify what I said before this goes off the rails.

First, I didn't mean to be "snide" and I am sorry anyone, including Geoff and Steve, took it that way.

Look, it's a well-known and accepted practice amongst meteorite hunters to sandbag their find locations to guarantee a longer period of exclusive hunting before the competition moves in - this can be because nobody wants to share finds, or because the find location is scientifically-sensitive and needs to be documented before clumsy boots stomp all over the place and ruin valuable data (Like Gebel Kamil).

Admire is an old strewnfield and that pallasite has been studied to death. Digging up Admire masses, at this point, is not going to hurt science. Admire is not Murchison - it does not hold the keys to the genesis of life, amino acids, volatile organics, etc. It's a mass of nickel, olivines, and rust, occupying a well-mapped strewnfield.

And if protecting science is such a high priority, then why publicize the find on national television and give it an enticing pseudonym like "Alpha Pallasite" - surely that was something the network came up with for good television. If you had really wanted to keep the location a secret for science, then don't tell the producers and showrunner at the network about it - keep it quiet and tell nobody. Don't drag major network television crews out to the site and then claim to champion secrecy for science. That is disingenuous at best.

This was no secret location. Search the Met-Central archives. Before the Alpha episode aired for the first time, either Geoff or Steve (can't recall which), posted a public teaser to the meteorite list about the Alpha pallasite find. It doesn't take a snoop or rocket scientist to consult the Met Bulletin and COM to look up previously found pallasites in that geographic region. It obviously wasn't Brenham, so the only candidate was Admire. One of the central lessons of meteorite hunting, that I have heard both of you say on the record is - to find meteorites, start where meteorites have already been found. Admire fit the bill across the board - no detective work needed. The minute you guys posted that teaser, the cat was out of the bag.

When these new significant scientific discoveries are made regarding the Admire, please share them with us.

Personally, I wish you guys all the luck in the world. More power to you. A lot of of us wish we could travel the world and do what you guys are doing. I've been a fan since the first season. But it's no secret that some aspects of the show have grown outside your control and many members of the Met community have turned cool towards the show. Debating the reasons is moot for this discussion, but suffice to say I have always been uncomfortable with the emphasis the show places on market values - many of which are inflated and wishful thinking.

It's funny, I can email you guys privately and not get a single reply. I post one thing on a public message board that seemed "snide" and suddenly you both have time from your busy schedules to answer me.

Call it whatever you want - a piece of Admire is a piece of Admire. Put it on television, slap a cool-sounding name on it, and suddenly it's promoted as being worth more per-gram than "regular" Admire because the Alpha was found on a television program with cameras rolling - that is a marketing gimmick.

Best regards,

MikeG

#16 peter scherff

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:43 PM

Hi Geoff,
Yes, Stellafane was a blast. Hopefully we can get together again next year. Stellafane is the one astronomy event that my wife loves, she tolerates others, but she looks forward to Stellafane. Needless to say it is a “must attend” event. I can’t believe all the events that you & Steve attend. How do you have time for a life outside of space rocks? Wayne said that he has some ideas to make next year’s Stellafane the best one yet.
Peter

#17 peter scherff

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

Hi Mike,
Do you know any details about the Pat Mulvany process? I don’t want to expose my meteorites to an unknown treatment. I understand the importance of “trade secrets”. However when it comes to the curation of some of the rarest material in the world I don’t think that it is unreasonable to know what is done to my rocks. I ask him about his process some time ago but he kept it close to his vest. Now that he is not processing any meteorites perhaps he can tell us about his process?
Peter

#18 sealevel

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:41 PM


Hi Mike,
I agree with Peter. I'd like to get a little more info myself. Perhaps you might want to think about taking over his operation yourself. With his permission of course.

Davio R.

#19 MeteoriteMen

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Dear Mike:

Thank you for your reply.

Steve has not posted to this thread, so I am not clear why you are addressing him as well. It's true that Steve is a self-confessed businessman and entrepreneur, but in the course of making a living from meteorite hunting he has contributed more to meteoritics than almost any other hunter I know. He has co-authored several scientific papers, worked with me on both of my books, discovered the world's largest oriented pallasite, proven the existence of pristine fusion crust on a 15,000 year-old chondrite, donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of important specimens to museums and universities, lectured to thousands of science enthusiasts, and too much other stuff to list here. Not a bad run for a businessman.

You are a little confused about a couple of things, so please let me clarify the Alpha/Admire story for you.

The name Alpha had absolutely nothing to do with our production company, our network, or the television show. Steve and I were working at Admire about two years before Meteorite Men existed. The Admire project was part of a series of exploratory digs funded by a consortium of meteorite professionals. Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Admire was the first such expedition. The next one would have been "Beta." As it turned out, we were so wildly successful at Alpha/Admire that we continued working there for years, and there never was a Beta site.

Agreed that it's not difficult for meteorite experts to figure out where Alpha is, but meteorite experts constitute a tiny percentage of the population. I'm not sure how much field work you've done, but after expending a great deal of time, effort, and money in discovering a new strewnfield, or an untouched zone of an existing strewnfield, it makes good sense to keep that information confidential while work continues at the site. It also shows respect for landowners who typically don’t want hordes of would-be meteorite hunters descending upon their farms. Hence the code name, which was intended for internal use within the consortium. I believe Steve did make a post to the Meteorite Mailing List about Alpha/Admire, at some point, but that was after the news of our discoveries had leaked and other people made posts about the site. We all liked the Alpha code name and it just stuck. No marketing ploy, no sinister gimmicks, we were just doing our best to protect our ongoing work at a pristine site. At no time did we ever intimate or suggest that Alpha was a new meteorite to science.

You are mistaken, again, in stating that Admire has "been studied to death." In fact, there was comparatively little work done on Admire until our finds sparked renewed interest in this extremely unusual pallasite. Some of the significant discoveries made by us and our colleagues at Admire include the following:

- An anomalous dispersal of fragments (both by size and shape) that is inconsistent with textbook strewnfields. This data led us to revise our hunting techniques and our understanding of meteorite fragmentation and fall patterns.

- A tremendous variance in the depth of finds, from a few inches to over four feet (ditto from above).

- The discovery of chatoyance in Admire's olivine crystals was remarkable. Chatoyance has never before been seen in a pallasite. This was so significant that Jon Koivula -- the word's foremost authority on extraterrestrial olivine -- carried out extensive studies on a number of our Admire crystals and wrote, at length, about their uniqueness. The Gemological Institute of America recognized Admire olivine/peridot as an entirely new gemstone. I find that amazing!

- Dr. Laurence Garvie, Collections Manager of the Center for Meteorite Studies at ASU believes he found evidence of unusual and unexpected minerals in one of our Admire specimens and further study is required there. Also, we saw a surprising variance in the degree of weathering in specimens that were clearly of the same age, and from the same fall. Again, more study is required there and that could result in a greater understanding of how meteorites terrestrialize in different environments.

- Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa, Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at ASU said the lack of shock features in Admire crystals from some of our finds may shed light on the mechanics of pallasite formation. Pretty significant, right?

- In addition, our 223-lb Admire find is on long-term loan to the Kansas Cosmosphere and a 32-lb half Admire is one of the main display pieces in my They Came From Outer Space meteorite exhibit, currently enjoying a one-year run in the primary exhibit space of the Challenger Space Center Arizona. Both pieces delight visitors daily. Over 50,000 people will see our Admire specimen in the TCFOS exhibit alone.

Do we really need to go over "the emphasis the show places on market values" again? This has already been talked about, at interminable length, in other forums, and you -- and everyone else in the meteorite community -- are very well aware of my views on this subject, as I have made no bones about them. I fought tooth and nail to have the cash values removed from the show and took my arguments to the very highest level. You already know this. When people complained to me about the monetary values featured in the show, I said: "I agree with you. Please tell the network, politely, how you feel. Here is the link for viewer feedback." It evidently worked, and by the third season they had almost completely dropped the financial aspect and I thought the show better for it.

Television is a group effort and, initially, the network felt it important to include the values of our finds so the casual viewer understood that we were not just picking up black pebbles in a field. I didn’t like it, and was extremely annoyed by the cash register sound, but I do appreciate that the network has been making quality television for many years and that they do things for a reason.

Your comment that many of the market values "are inflated and wishful thinking" is absolute nonsense. I've been working with meteorites for almost nineteen years and all of the prices/values quoted on the show were precisely extrapolated from actual pieces that Steve and I have bought, sold or traded over the years. I can back up every single one of those values, except for the absurd mistake they made in valuing the Buzzard Coulee main mass (that's what happens when they fail to send me the final narration script for fact checking). There are, in fact, several instances in which the numbers given were below actual market value (Henbury, for example).

And really, "the Met community have turned cool towards the show"? I hate to burst your bubble Mike, but we didn't make Meteorite Men for a few sourpusses on the Meteorite Mailing List. We made it for the world. As of today, January 1, 2013, Meteorite Men is showing in 32 countries around the globe (that I know of), as evidenced by the very nice post from Ira in Israel that started this discussion.

The show has brought thousands of new enthusiasts into the field, and has been seen by millions of people. It has resulted in the discovery of, at the very minimum, ten brand new meteorites to science -- the most recent and significant being the Sterley pallasite. There is actually more interest in the show now than when it started airing, and 2012 was my busiest year ever. I did the Tucson and Denver gem shows and, if I remember correctly, eighteen public appearances, including the keynote addresses at Stellafane, the Northeast Astronomy Forum, the Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo, and the Southern California Astronomy Expo. I filmed with NASA, Globe Trekker, and Ancient Aliens and gave presentations at the Lowell Observatory, SpaceFest IV, National Metal Detector Day, and numerous other venues. I met literally thousands of people who are excited about space, meteorites, and science as a result of watching Meteorite Men. Yes, I would have changed some aspects of the show if I could, but television is made by committee and nobody gets what they want all the time. Overall, I believe Meteorite Men is a positive force for science education. If you disagree, fair enough. You can always make your own show and then I can critique your work : )

And finally, I have been a member of Cloudy Nights for years and have twice been interviewed on camera for the forum. I think it is one of the best science discussion groups out there. Since I handle publicity for Meteorite Men, I feel it is my duty and responsibility to correct any misinformation about the show that is publicly posted on the web. As for your complaint that we didn't answer your email, I am sorry if that is true. The Aerolite staff and I strive diligently to answer every one of the mega thousands of emails we receive each year. You have always stuck me as a friendly guy and I know we've corresponded, via email, at some length in the past. If an email from you was missed, I do apologize, and please re-send it.

I know you have been watching the show from the beginning and I very much appreciate your ongoing support of Meteorite Men. Thank you for taking the time to share your point of view.

Wishing you all the best for 2013, yours respectfully,

Geoff of Meteorite Men
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#20 Glassthrower

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

Hi Geoff,

I thought Steve had posted here as well, I must have been mistaken.

A member here asked a simple question, and I answered it. In your opinion, my answer had misinformation in it. I disagree and we can agree to disagree. The meteorite community has had enough animosity in it during recent years, you and I shouldn't add to it. So let's shake hands and call it a day.

Best regards and happy huntings,

MikeG


#21 Dick Lipke

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

Hi Mike,
I agree with Peter. I'd like to get a little more info myself. Perhaps you might want to think about taking over his operation yourself. With his permission of course.

Davio R.



Mike G.
I third that along with Peter and Davio. With your expertise in meteorites and knowledge in its operations out front and behind the scenes this would be a piece of cake for you.

#22 sealevel

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

Hi Geoff,

I thought Steve had posted here as well, I must have been mistaken.

A member here asked a simple question, and I answered it. In your opinion, my answer had misinformation in it. I disagree and we can agree to disagree. The meteorite community has had enough animosity in it during recent years, you and I shouldn't add to it. So let's shake hands and call it a day.

Best regards and happy huntings,

MikeG


Mike,
You truly are a gentleman! Bravo!

Davio R.

#23 rfinney

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:21 PM


Hello Everyone:

Until I read this thread I had no clue that the "alpha field" was actually Admire. That is why is pays off being a spock rocks forum regular!

I actually have five specimens of Admire:

A lucite slice display from Geoff and Steve which I now know came from the "alpha field" - how cool is that?

33.9 grams - Large amazing slice - photo here:
http://www.lpi.usra....p?recno=5657613

1.06 grams - small crystal from a ASU specimen - photo here:
http://www.lpi.usra....p?recno=5657612

16.56 grams - individual specimen - still uncut

6.1 grams - a nice slice which also still seems to be stable

Back in October I was in Tucson and Geoff was kind enough to invite me to watch him film an episode of Ancient Aliens - it really gave me an appreciation for his deep insight into the historical connections between space rocks and past religions and culture.

I usually catch his posts over at Club Space Rock:

http://meteorites.ning.com/

But it is really great to see him take the time to visit us over here as well!

Best Regards,

- RF

#24 Ira

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

I find all of this Admire admiration admirable. :) (Say this fast 3 times.)

I say this because almost everything I have read about Admire online is negative, mainly disparaging it as a "ruster". Hence, I have tended to shy away from it, although I have wanted a piece for my collection. Does all of the above mean that we should reevaluate the admirability of Admire? :question:

/Ira

#25 Ira

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Dear Ira:

I just now noticed that you live in Mitzpe Ramon! I visited way back in 1979. What an amazingly beautiful place. Really dark night skies : )

Is Meteorite Men on regular TV in Israel? If you have any details about the station we're showing on, please let me know, as I like to keep that info up to date on our Meteorite Men Facebook page

Thanks and best wishes!

Geoff of Meteorite Men
www.meteoritemen.com
www.aerolite.org
www.meteorites.co

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Hi Geoff,
Mitzpe Ramon is still a great place to star gaze, although in the ensuing years light pollution has certainly gotten worse. Of course, not a good place at all to meteor hunt since the ground is strewn everywhere with rocks. I watched Meteorite Men on line, so I don't know if it is available on regular cable channels here.

Keep up the good work and good luck on your hunts! I'm a fan! :jump:

/Ira






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